By Paul Scicluna
On a recent trip to sun-drenched Hua Hin in Thailand, it really opened my eyes to the lack of healthy people. For those of you not familiar with Hua Hin, it is a relaxing beach side town 144km south west of Bangkok. On average, it provides residents and visitors with a glorious 260 days of sun per year. Plus, you can live like Kings and Queens because the food and accommodation is relatively cheap.
However, what astounded me was that 90% of the people (excluding the locals) were out of shape or overweight – a heart attack or Type 2 diabetes in the makings. Whether you’re on a holiday or business trip you can and should take care of your health. Especially if you have children as they learn from the parents.
My recent trip was a mixture of business and leisure. Having turned 40 I allowed myself to indulge a little for this extra special occasion! As long as most of the time your diet is great, your body will be able to cope with a bit of indulgence. Yet, what I saw everyday were most people filling their plates with fatty, processed and non-nutritious foods, washed down with soft drinks or sodas.
My breakfast usually started with some fresh fruit and salad. Sometimes I had a freshly made omelette, other times it was sauteed vegetables. Have a look at these delicious meals!
I asked a tourist who was visiting from Europe if I could take a photo of his meal. He looked at me strangely but obliged. Here’s not what to have every day!
This is just a plate of processed carbs, fat and sugar, not to mention all the additives and preservatives hidden within. This plate of food is devoid of quality nutrients.
He asked what the photo was for? I attempted to explain what I do as well as the difference between our meals, and to eat more of the foods I had my plate. There were language barriers but I think I convinced him; the thumbs up sign for positive affirmation seemed to work. And, especially after someone had explained to him that I just turned 40 and it was translated back to me that he thought I looked 28! Over the course of the trip I did see him getting some fresh fruit which was a great. Bit by bit I say - gradually bring change into your daily habits for a lifelong, healthy positive change.
What's scary though is that this person was not the only one… the majority of people were eating the same as him and so were their children. All this is doing is clogging up your system and filling you up with lots of calories but zero nutrients.
Look at the difference between the two plates of food. The healthier option is colourful whereas the other is monotone – it looks lifeless in terms of colours and as they say, "You are what you eat." Rainbow targeting is one of, if not the greatest way to eat. Lots of colourful wholefoods means a broad spectrum of nutrients that supply your body with the tools it needs to keep you healthy. I go into plenty of more detail about rainbow targeting in my Total Body and Health Transformation program and my Fasting manual.
What I also couldn’t believe is that many people just about never moved. You’d see them in the same spot all day every day. What ever happened to using those beautiful beaches to go for a walk, a run or a swim? Laziness and lack of movement not only helps to stack on the kilos but also makes you more and more lethargic. It was great though, to see a few people doing yoga and meditation on the beach as the sun rose. So at least there were some people looking after themselves but they were definitely the minority.
Many people use a holiday or business trip as an excuse to let themselves go and eat crap. Here are some of the excuses, “I’m on holiday, I want to enjoy myself by eating what I want.” “It doesn’t have the same food that I have at home, so I have to have the unhealthy alternative because that’s what I know.” I’ve heard them all before.
It really doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 5 simple tips on how you can stay healthy whilst on a trip.
1. Portion control – whether you’re at a hotel/resort or self-catering accommodation, make sure you opt for the entree-sized plate, and not the main size. If there are no smaller plates then you don’t have to pile the food on. If you’re looking for how to make healthier meals, check out my recipe and information books - Time to Get Healthy and Super Salads.
2. Aim to fill your plate with 2/3 fresh fruit and salads. These have high water content so will help fill you up and provide you with lots of nutrients. Plus, by having some raw foods the enzymes help with digestion unlike the cooked foods that have most of the enzymes cooked out of them.
3. Exercise! I’m not talking about running a half marathon every day, but make sure you get a decent amount of movement. Therefore, if you do indulge a little then you will be burning up those calories. Go to the Free Resources section of the Global Health Renegade website and get your copy of the Anytime, Anywhere exercise information, or take up the challenge and take your health to it's optimum level with my Total Body and Health Transformation program.
4. Drink lots of water and good fluids – especially if you are visiting a place with a warmer climate, as you’ll most likely sweat more. Therefore you’ll need to replenish the fluids you’ve lost plus some.
5. Do your research – read trip reviews and forums to understand the area you are visiting. When you get to your destination speak to the locals about where to go to get good food, whether that be at a market or wherever. Sometimes language barriers are a challenge. You could get some of the basics from people before you go. And what also works a treat often are pictures!
It really isn’t hard to stay healthy on a trip. So, don’t be another heart attack waiting to happen when you go away! Be sensible but also allow a little indulgence if you’ve been good.
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